Come and be part of a global voice for wild plants and fungi
This autumn, help us find the Britain’s most colourful and important fungi – waxcaps.
Plantlife’s Big Give Christmas Challenge 28 Nov- 5 Dec, make a positive impact in protecting remarkable lichens.
Go the extra mile and run wild for Plantlife
Become a Plantlife member today and together we will rebuild a world rich in plants and fungi
Read in: EnglishCymraeg
From idea to installation – as told by Hannah Lee, People Engagement Officer for the Dynamic Dunescapes Project.
Read on to discover how the idea behind the new sculpture at Crymlyn Burrows SSSI came to be. View the artistry of Eifion Thomas – JET Blacksmith – in forging the new archway sculpture and catch up on the launch event held July 2023. If you visit the Swansea Bay area why not take a moment to explore Crymlyn Burrows and all it has to offer?
Sunday 16th July 2023 was an exciting day for the Dynamic Dunescapes project team working in Wales. Co-hosted by Plantlife and seven other partners through Dynamic Dunescapes, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate an entryway sculpture created by Welsh Artist Blacksmith Eifion Thomas (JET Blacksmith).
We have recently unveiled a locally-inspired sculpture intertwined with butterflies, birds and dragonflies in Wales.
The new sculpture at Crymlyn Burrows, which has taken four years to create, has been a huge part of the work of the Dynamic Dunescapes project at the SSSI in Swansea Bay. Backdropped by Swansea University’s Bay Campus, Crymlyn Burrows is one of 10 Dynamic Dunescapes sites in Wales.
The concept behind this sculpture was to create a sense of arrival for people visiting Crymlyn, and it was designed to include elements of the site that local residents connected with the most. Visitors to the sculpture will see it has butterflies, birds, dragonflies and more intertwined in it. We wanted it to represent not only the now but also the past and future of the site.
Ben Sampson, Swansea University Sustainability Officer and Crymlyn Burrows Warden
The initial ideas for this project ranged from a single statue to a panel that would frame the diverse landscape of the SSSI. Through consultation with local visitors in 2022 the idea of an archway was selected, and key themes were voted upon.
Through a similar voting process, it was decided that the sister sculpture would more heavily reflect the surrounding landscape, with elements of the local dune systems of Crymlyn Burrows and sister site across the Neath Estuary at Baglan Burrows incorporated.
With ideas at hand, we set to finding a Welsh Artist Blacksmith who could bring this project to life. Pembrokeshire-based blacksmith Eifion Thomas (JET Blacksmith) was successful in capturing the windswept nature of the dunes of Swansea Bay.
As the months of 2023 began to tick by, each new update on the process of forging the sculpture was met with admiration for Eifion’s skills.
The installed sculpture is one of a pair, and high on the design priorities for visitors was the inclusion of butterflies, bees, plants and flowers, birds, and the local landscape in the design. Credit: Dynamic Dunescapes / Andy Davies Photography and video
Acknowledging the local area’s industrial history, both sculptures would be made of metal. Credit: Ben Sampson
In his dynamic sculpture concept we saw an archway that looked like it was almost already blowing in the wind, lifting up and off into the sky. Credit: James Eifion Thomas (JET Blacksmith)
Gradually we began to see red hot butterflies and delicate flower petals emerging from flames. Credit: James Eifion Thomas (JET Blacksmith)
As well as the ribbon-cutting, the day involved guided walks, arts activities, a full day of bio-blitzing and a scavenger hunt! Local vendor Van Goffi provided lots of refreshments for attendees, while photographer Andy Davies captured the day through his lens. Once the rain and wind had calmed down, the day’s activities kicked off with visitors exploring the dunes with site warden Ben Sampson.
After wrapping the sculpture in a bow, we were joined by visitors and special guests for the official unveiling. Proceedings began with a short speech from Professor Charles Hipkin, who reflected on the significance of this special place both ecologically and to him personally.
With the rain at bay Ai-Lin Kee of Nature On Your Doorstep introduced visitors to the pollinators of the dunes, highlighting the work of the B-Lines project.
Visitors checked out the range of habitats found at Crymlyn Burrows with Ben Sampson (Swansea University) and discovering birds, mammals, fungi, amphibians, a rich diversity of coastal plants and the work being undertaken at the site to rejuvenate the space for local wildlife. Credit: Dynamic Dunescapes / Andy Davies Photography and video
Our VIP guests pulling the ribbon to formally celebrate the installation! L-R Prof Charles Hipkin (Neath Port Talbot Local Nature Partnership), Martyn Evans (NRW), Eifion Thomas (JET Blacksmith), Penny Neyland (Swansea University) and our very own Lizzie Wilberforce! Credit: Dynamic Dunescapes / Andy Davies Photography and video
Sculpture in a ribbon/ribbon cutting; Credit: Dynamic Dunescapes / Andy Davies Photography and video
As well as bees, butterflies and moths, visitors were also treated to up-close views of colour-changing flower crab spiders, grasshoppers and more as they explored with Ai-Lin Kee. Credit: Dynamic Dunescapes / Andy Davies Photography and video
We’re thrilled to be able to share with visitors the story of the sculpture as well as the installation itself, which will be there to be enjoyed by all for many years to come. We greatly appreciate the support we have received from the landowners of Crymlyn Burrows, St Modwen, in bringing this project to life.
Stay tuned for more as the second sister sculpture is set to be installed elsewhere on site. To stay up to date, be sure to follow Sustainability at Swansea University on social media, and if you visit don’t forget to tag us in your photos!
Plantlife‘s work through Dynamic Dunescapes is supporting conservation action in England and Wales to improve the condition of sand dunes.
Discover how Plantlife is working with governments to protect and restore temperate rainforest along the Atlantic coast of Britain.
It’s waxcap season in the Upper Ystwyth and Plantlife’s Sheena Duller explains why fungi and farming can go so well together.
A closer look at some of the headlines from the State of Nature 2023 report, and what they mean for our species and habitats in Wales.
We will keep you updated by email about our work, news, campaigning, appeals and ways to get involved. We will never share your details and you can opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Notice.